Sunday, April 06, 2008

Enchanted

You may have gathered by now that I have a weakness for fairy tales. It's embarrassing to admit it, as I'd rather be known as a tough guy, but when it comes to movies like Enchanted, I'm just an old bag of mush.

You probably know the gimmick. The movie opens with some great, traditional Disney animation, and then the wicked queen (Susan Sarandon) pushes the lovely young Giselle (Amy Adams) down a well. She arrives in New York City, the place where "there is no happily ever after." Edward, the handsome, but slightly vacant, prince (James Marsden) goes after Giselle to save her, so the queen sends her flunky, Nathaniel (Timothy Spall), to spoil things. A chipmunk goes, too, but he's a good guy.

Okay, you know the Mayberry Plot? The one where the big city guy goes to Mayberry and learns how to live? This is the reverse. Giselle goes from a fairy-tale land (not entirely unlike Mayberry) to the big city. Her sweetness and innocence teaches everybody else how to live, including Dr. McDreamy. It's the world the way we'd like to think it could be.

Great stuff, with some very funny lines and a fine screenplay. I bought into it from the first frame with all the visual references to former Disney animated films, but then I'm a sentimental old fart. My only criticism is my usual one: as is all to often the case these days, they drag out the ending for a special effects extravaganza. I loved it anyway.

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

Spoilers, folks.

Glad you liked it, Bill...while the intentionally too-typical Disney animation at the beginning and very end initially had me groaning silently, afraid I'd really dislike it. Happily, no...not least because it's a bit better than She Beats Us At Our Own Game...Giselle finds herself a richer, more fully realized person outside the Disney cartoon environment, even as the Idina Menzel character (somewhat improbably, but the clipped scene in the extras helps give this slightly more believeability, if not much) chooses to go into the Cartoon World.

I rather like how it briefly becomes both a Godzilla and feminist King Kong film, in the protracted climax.